Getting Around, Bar Harbor Travel, Transport and Car Rental

(Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island, Maine - ME, USA)

View of main roadWhen you choose to visit Bar Harbor may well dictate how you choose to travel around. In the summer season, Bar Harbor becomes extremely busy, and therefore if you choose a rental car as your number one mode of transport, you may well encounter congestion around town and other areas of Mount Desert Island.

Outside of this period, between the months of October and April, the Bar Harbor area becomes considerably quieter. Bus transport is available in the summer months, including 'Island Explorer' buses, although for short distances, bicycles are hard to beat as any easy and cheap way to travel between attractions and coastal sights. The town center itself is very compact and lends itself to simply strolling, particularly around areas such as Cottage Street and the Main Street.

Aeral photograph of harbor

Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport (BHB) / Arriving by Air

Address: 115 Caruso Drive, Trenton, 04605, Maine (ME), 04605, USA
Tel: +1 207 667 7329
Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport is the closest to Bar Harbor by far, being close by on the mainland. A mere 12 miles / 19 km to the northwest and just a stone's throw from the coastline of Mount Desert Island, the airport is situated within Trenton, next to Ellsworth, being used heavily by arriving tourists during the summer months. At this time of the year, Hancock Airport actually becomes one of the busiest airports in the whole of Maine. US Airways is the main airline operating here, with regular scheduled flights to Boston. Ground transportation consists of Island Explorer buses and rental cars, provided by Enterprise and Hertz. In the summer, shuttle buses travel to and from Bar Harbor and the airport, being free of charge.

Photo of central traffic

Car Rental

Although Mount Desert is actually very much an island, it is conveniently linked to the nearby mainland by a very unassuming bridge, meaning that it is easy to drive to and from Bar Harbor. Since there is so much to see on the island, particularly within the Acadia National Park, hiring a car makes perfect sense and this is the perfect mode of transport if exploration is on your agenda. Many surrounding destinations and attractions are just a relatively short drive from Bar Harbor, such as Ellsworth, which you can travel to in around 30 minutes, via Route 3. Slightly further away is Bangor, reached along interstate I-395. It is even possible to travel by car to cities such as Portland (Maine) in around three hours, and Boston (Massachusetts) in just five hours.

Book your Bar Harbor Car Rental here.

Image of whale watching boats

Boats and Ferries

There is no more scenic way to travel along the Maine coastline than by ferry, and speedy catamarans are based along Eden Street (Route 3). Proudly ranking as the quickest catamaran ferry in North America, regular sailings take place between May and October, running to Yarmouth (Nova Scotia, Canada), to the southeast.

Buses and Coaches

If you are planning to use bus transport to get around, you should prepare yourself for a very limited and seasonal service. During the summer months, buses travel as far afield as Boston, with the terminal for the popular Greyhound (formerly Vermont Transit Bus Line) being located on the Main Street, in the center of Bar Harbor. Throughout the year, a number of daily buses also run to Bangor, which is just over 45 miles / 72 km to the northwest.